Requirements for Graduate Study
Download the Department of Comparative Human Development Graduate Student Manual.
The program of study is in many respects unique for each student. In addition to a basic program of courses, it includes other courses and seminars offered by the CHD faculty, courses offered in related programs and departments in the University, and the resources of nearby institutions. Students usually specialize within one or another of the broad areas of child development, adolescent development, adult development and aging, personality processes, psychological anthropology, cultural and mental health, cultural psychology, and biology of development, but considerable flexibility is permitted within and between these areas.
Each student is given faculty assistance in (1) planning a program of courses and training; (2) fulfilling the Divisional and Departmental steps leading to the Ph.D. degree; (3) obtaining a professional position after graduation. Each entering student is assigned to a faculty advisor who will serve until the student chooses a research advisor. The student should also consult with the Student Affairs Administrator for information regarding procedures.
Information regarding scholarships, fellowships, and traineeships may be obtained from the Student Affairs Secretary. Since financial aid must be applied for each year, even when renewal is expected, in-residence students are expected to file an application for financial aid with the Dean of Students' office by January 15 for the following academic year. Applications may be obtained from the Dean of Students' office, Foster 107. (New students apply for financial aid at the time they apply for admission).
A student interested in part-time work (clerical, statistical, research assistantship, course assistantship, etc.) should consult the Student Affairs Secretary, the faculty advisor, and the University Student Employment office.
Every student must have an advisor. The CHD Chair will assign an advisor to entering students. As students progress through the program and define their interests, they may wish to change advisors in line with their research activities. The Students Affairs Secretary should be informed in writing of such changes. The faculty advisor should be actively consulted in connection with registration and other academic matters.
The Quarterly Time Schedule contains the official calendar of courses and information about registration and fees, web site address is http://www-regsis.uchicago.edu. (Consult your email account and the bulletin board in CHD for notices of last minute changes in course offerings). In general, course registration consists of four steps:
- Obtain registration forms from Student Affairs Secretary (CHD 102);
- Have the completed forms checked by the Student Affairs Secretary;
- Proceed to Dean of Students office, Foster 107, to complete course registration.
- By the fifth week of each the quarter, check at the Registrar that your registration is correct.
At time of registration, students should inform CHD Student Affairs Secretary if the student intends to receive an MA or Ph.D. degree during that quarter.
Late Registration. Registration after the last announced date for registration is permitted, but a $50.00 fee is assessed after the stated deadline.
Change of Registration. A $25.00 per week fee is assessed during the quarter by the Registrar for each change of registration initiated by the student after the deadline (end of the fifth week) stated in the Official Calendar. See the official calendar for additional information.
Divisional regulations dealing with residence requirements, leaves of absence, and course requirements are set out in a memo from the Dean of Students.
Human Development Requirements
Every student is required to take the following courses for a quality grade:
- CHD Core Concepts
- Five CHD Core Area courses, one in each of the following areas. Though a course may be listed in more than one area, it may be used to fill only one area requirement.
- Comparative Behavioral Biology
- Comparative Life Course
- Cultural Psychology and Psychological Anthropology
- Health, Culture, and Mental Health
- Language, Communication, and Cognition
- Intermediate Statistics
- One additional methods courses (not introductory statistics)
- Two Trial Research Seminars
- Two additional CHD courses in area of specialization
- One additional CHD course of choice
Students are not required to complete all these requirements by the end of their second year. However, they must have five quality grades by the end of spring of their first year, and ten quality grades by the end of the second year. On average a graduate student should take at least two courses for quality grades in each quarter of their first two years.
In addition, students will participate in elective courses and workshops in the department, and the University in consultation with their advisors. The CHD Concepts course will introduce students to the history, theoretical bases, and concepts of the field of human development, and to the major areas of inquiry in the Department of Comparative Human Development. This is taken during the fall quarter of the first or second year.
The trial research seminars will launch students into their research projects and will guide them from the beginning to the completion of those projects. The trial research seminar is taken in the spring quarter of the first year and the fall quarter of the second year. Trial research papers are due by spring quarter of the second year.
A grade of B or better is required to satisfy the requirements of these courses. Students are expected to maintain an average of B+ or better. A student who can demonstrate basic competence in the core curricular areas may petition the faculty through the Chair's office to place into an advanced course in the same area. A well qualified student may place out of intermediate statistics by examination provided by the instructor of the statistics course. If a student can demonstrate that they are unable to take any of the designated Methods courses, they may petition through the Chair's office to have an equally relevant and rigorous course from another department count towards the requirement.
Current students may obtain a guide to course requirements by contacting department staff.
All students are required to enroll in a trial research seminar in the spring quarter of the first year and the autumn quarter of the second year. The trial research project must be completed and formally approved by the faculty during the spring quarter of the student’s second year. Students are expected to report regularly on the progress of their research to the trial research seminars. The trial research is carried out under the direction of the research advisor and is read by one other faculty member.
All students are evaluated each year in the program. To be considered in good standing and for continuation of financial aid, first and second year students must have earned at minimum five quality grades (B or better) over autumn and winter quarters by the time of the spring review, with satisfactory spring grades expected to follow. The evaluation at the end of the second year is particularly important, as it determines whether a student will be permitted to conduct dissertation research.
Each student is assigned a faculty member at the beginning of the first year of study to serve as a research advisor. Students may change research advisors as their needs and interests evolve, but students are expected to be affiliated with one or more research advisors throughout their graduate careers.
Please see Human Development’s complete course listing.